by Delegate Mike McDermott
What are the provisions of the O’Malley-Brown Gun Bill? The following is a general overview to help you navigate the most significant changes to firearms laws in Maryland following changes made through SB-281 as it passed in the House of Delegates and received concurrence in the Senate.
- Exempts all law enforcement officers (active and retired) as well as military personnel from the provisions and restrictions of this act.
- Designates certain rifles as “Assault Long Guns” on a compiled list which currently contains 45 firearms (including many popular firearms such as the AR-15 and the SKS as well as any of their “Copy Cats”), and bans these delineated firearms for sale in Maryland as of October 1, 2013.
- Continues the current ban on “Assault Pistols” as delineated on the ban list (has been in effect since 1994).
- Restricts magazine capacities for all firearms to 10-rounds or less and prohibits the sale of any magazine capable of holding more than 10-rounds.
- Assault weapons may be transferred through inheritance, and the heir may take possession of the firearm so long as they are not otherwise disqualified from possessing a Regulated Firearm.
- Assault weapons and magazines may be sold to persons out of state.
- A person who has purchased or otherwise ordered a banned firearm prior to the October 1, 2013 Effective Date will still be allowed to receive the firearm and possess it even after the Effective Date.
Manufacturers of Firearms
- Manufacturing facilities are generally exempt from the requirements of this bill.
- Creates a Handgun Qualification License. In order to purchase a Regulated Firearm (handgun) a person will need to take a Firearm’s Orientation Class consisting of 4-hours of classroom and range training which will cover: state firearm laws, home firearm safety,handgun mechanisms and operations. The range component of the training includes orientation specific to the firearm involving safe handling. (If someone previously owned a Regulated Firearm, the Firearms Safety and Orientation Class is not required. Also the Maryland Hunter Safety Class/Certification can be taken in lieu of the Firearms Safety/Orientation Class as required.) The person seeking licensure must also fill out the appropriate application with the Maryland State Police and submit a full set of digital fingerprints. Following a full background check and revue of the applicant and completion of the Safety/Orientation Class, the Secretary of Public Safety shall issue the applicant a Handgun Qualification License which shall be good for 10-years. There are fees associated with this licensure process: $50.00 for the Application Submission coupled with additional fees to be payable to the Central Repository for fingerprint review as well as a separate fee charge for the FBI for their review. There will also be a charge for having the fingerprints received into the system. While some of the fees fluctuate, it is clear the cost for an initial Handgun Qualification License will cost well over $100 payable at the time of the application.
- Bans a person from possessing any ammunition if they are disqualified from possessing a Regulated Firearm.
- Bans certain types of bullet compositions (so called “cop killer” bullets)
Mental Health Provisions
- Restricts a person who is the subject of an Involuntary Commitment from possessing any firearm and requires them to surrender any firearms in their possession to law enforcement for safe keeping. It also provides for a way for an individual to be granted relief from being Disqualified to possess a firearm. This process involves a hearing review and there are fees associated with this process.
- Applies these restrictions to persons under a Current Ex Parte Order and Orders for Protection.